Filamentation of asparagine synthetase in <i>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</i>

by Shanshan Zhang, Kang Ding, Qing-Ji Shen, Suwen Zhao, Ji-Long Liu

Asparagine synthetase (ASNS) and CTP synthase (CTPS) are two metabolic enzymes crucial for glutamine homeostasis. A genome-wide screening in Saccharomyces cerevisiae reveal that both ASNS and CTPS form filamentous structures termed cytoophidia. Although CTPS cytoophidia were well documented in recent years, the filamentation of ASNS is less studied. Using the budding yeast as a model system, here we confirm that two ASNS proteins, Asn1 and Asn2, are capable of forming cytoophidia in diauxic and stationary phases. We find that glucose deprivation induces ASNS filament formation. Although ASNS and CTPS form distinct cytoophidia with different lengths, both structures locate adjacently to each other in most cells. Moreover, we demonstrate that the Asn1 cytoophidia colocalize with the Asn2 cytoophidia, while Asn2 filament assembly is largely dependent on Asn1. In addition, we are able to alter Asn1 filamentation by mutagenizing key sites on the dimer interface. Finally, we show that ASN1D330V promotes filamentation. The ASN1D330V mutation impedes cell growth in an ASN2 knockout background, while growing normally in an ASN2 wild-type background. Together, this study reveals a connection between ASNS and CTPS cytoophidia and the differential filament-forming capability between two ASNS paralogs.

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